Meet Mrs. Even Steven Money

Hi, personal finance and financial independence community this is Mrs. Even Steven Money here! I am very excited to be guest posting for the very first time.  Today I want to share a few experiences with you about my background and some of my financial experiences.  Before I begin I want to say there is truly no one right way to do things, I believe part of sharing via this blog is to learn the various ways people are achieving financial independence or dealing with their own personal finances.

I was born in Nicaragua but grew up in sunny Florida since I was four years old.  Growing up my family did not have much in terms of money, but we had everything we needed.  My dad was an accountant back home in Nicaragua, but when he moved to the U.S.A. the language barrier definitely impacted the opportunities he had, although this was not something that would stop him.

My dad is the hardest working man I know and my mom the greatest financial planner.  So needless to say they make a great team! My parents hated debt from the beginning and even though they had endless opportunities to drown in debt and pay the minimum payments they never did.  They always made sure we had all our needs covered and found clever ways to keep a family of 5 happy on one income.   For example going out to fancy restaurants was not an option for us but we (the kids) didn’t even notice because we were out at the park or the beach grilling some yummy carne asada!  Every weekend we were out and about enjoying our family and the outdoors.  Mr. Even Steven Money probably wishes I was more like my parents in this area because I do like to splurge a little on eating out and love to take my family to new restaurants.  I mainly enjoy it since we could not do it much when I was a child, now that I have the opportunities and means I like to share that with my family and indulge myself a little as well.

IMG_20140801_133156893 (2)

A view of the city where I was born in Nicaragua

My parents would have one or two things they would splurge a little more money on, but it was all well thought out and budgeted for, no debt needed.  For one of my birthdays my parents asked me if I would like a birthday party or a trip to Disney,  of course, I chose Disney!!!  We would stay at the most affordable motel that was close to the park.  Who cares if it wasn’t one of the 5 star hotels, I basically only spent a few hours in the motel because we would literally spend all day and night at the park from opening time until the fireworks lit up the sky.  My parents were awesome for being able to last that long! Me…I was just the happiest kid on earth hanging out with Mickey and his friends.  My parents offered the same birthday options for me about 3 more times and I always chose Disney.  Sure it would have been great to have a birthday party, but in my world Disney won hands down.  It was nice they gave me an option and they knew their limitations.  No keeping up with the Jones’s in our household!

I feel like my parents set a great financial example for me to follow. The first financial decision I needed to make was when I was finishing high school.  How was I going to pay for college? I would be the first generation going to college in my family so this road was new territory for me.  I knew I wanted to find a way to get out of college debt free or at least with minimal debt.  I studied hard to get good grades and the required test scores to qualify for a scholarship while, in high school, this would take care of the tuition for any in-state university.  The best options for looking at universities on a budget for me was to look for in-state and why not stay home with my parents, this saved me a lot of money on food and housing.   Sure I was sacrificing the whole college experience, living away from home, but I was happy with my decision.  I graduated with an Accounting and Finance degree with $0 debt!  During this time period is when I met Mr. Even Steven Money, he was more of a party animal back then ;).  I always admired his adventurous side.  I mean he was a transfer student from Wisconsin to Miami for a year and then transferring to Europe for another semester.  That sounds and was a fantastic experience for him!  I just didn’t really know how he was doing it all, and didn’t ask at that time (Mr. Even Steven Money note:  I think we all know where that money was coming from…..student loans).  I love to travel and I hope to visit Europe soon with him and without having to break our bank account.

One of the biggest financial mistakes anyone can make is trying to live above your means.  This will not only cause you financial hardship, but it will negatively impact your family which in my opinion is most important.  Like they say money can buy a lot of things but it can’t buy you happiness.

22 Responses to “Meet Mrs. Even Steven Money

  • Great to see more frugal spouses out there. Nice to meet you Mrs. Even Steven.
    Adam @ recently posted…Recent TravelMy Profile

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Thank you Adam! It’s great to be able to share with the personal finance community.

  • Mrs. Even Steven,
    Nice to meet you! I had the pleasure of meeting the Mr. a few weeks ago and he mentioned you were born in Nicaragua. I visited there years ago and it was my favorite country of the region. Friendly people, great scenery, inexpensive to travel it.
    Retire Before Dad recently posted…Well I’m Beginning To See The LightMy Profile

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      I’m happy to hear you visited Nicaragua and more importantly it made it to one of your favorites. 🙂

      Nice to meet you RBD!

  • Nice to meet you Mrs. Even Steven! Sounds like your parents were great financial examples growing up, we need more parents like that.

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Hi Brian nice to meet you too! Looking foward to writting more about some of the examples they set. My parents definetely impacted how i think about money.

  • Nice to meet you Mrs. ESM! That is awesome that you were able to grow up in such a financially savvy household! Definitely seems to have set you up nicely for your adult life.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…The Golden HandcuffsMy Profile

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Thanks Fervent Finance! Great to meet you too! Couldnt agree with you more.

  • Hey Mrs. Even Steven Money! Great to meet you 🙂
    Michelle recently posted…These 4 Mistakes May Be Holding You Back From A Good Credit ScoreMy Profile

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Great to meet you too Michelle! 🙂

  • Laurel
    1 year ago

    Nice to see a post from you! Your smart parents understood about living within their means which is a skill that seems to be dying out.

    Here’s a famous quote from Charles Dickens and his character Mr. Micawber on living within your means:

    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen, and six, result happiness.

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Thanks Laurel! The Micawber Principle, I love it. Simple but true.

  • Nice to meet you Mrs. Even Steven Money. One of the most important things to have on the road to financial independence is a spouse who is on board with the plan. I’m glad my wife is frugal as well. Like your family, I learned my frugal ways from my parents growing up. It seems to be a common trait for us kids of immigrants. My wife’s family (from Nicaragua’s neighbor Honduras) was even more frugal.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Financial FreedomMy Profile

  • Oh wow Honduras, nice to have some Central America love. Glad you and your wife had great financial examples to follow! 🙂 Great to meet you Andrew.
    Mrs. Even Steven Money recently posted…Meet Mrs. Even Steven MoneyMy Profile

  • Great to meet you and what seems like a far different story than my childhood in which I had a father that didn’t know how to save!

    I think I’m worried that Mrs. Budgets is under spending! Mrs. Budgets buys that exact amount of groceries that are needed for the week and nothing more! Look forward to seeing a post from you here and there.
    Mr. Budgets @MrandMrsBudgets recently posted…Our FinCon 2015 ExperienceMy Profile

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Under spending! That’s a new term for me but a good problem to have 🙂 Great to meet you too!

  • Nice to meet you Mrs. ESM. Your family seems to have taught you good financial principles as graduating college with no debt is pretty uncommon these days.
    Thanks for taking the time to write a post and share it with us! (maybe more are coming? 🙂
    TheMoneyMine recently posted…5 articles that made me smarter this monthMy Profile

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Great to meet you TheMoneyMine. I hope to be able to share more of my FI experiences! 🙂

  • Nice to hear from you, Mrs. ESM! I love how you described growing up, and you and your siblings not feeling like your family was short of money because of your parents’ approach to all of it. I’m convinced that attitude is everything. Both of my parents grew up with very little money, but my mom’s parents talked about being poor all the time and so, surprise!, she felt poor. But then my dad’s family never talked that way or acted like they didn’t have enough money, and all he talks about is his wonderful childhood. It’s great, too, that you don’t regret living with your parents during college. Many of the people I know who commuted to college regret it — but you seem to be a glass-half-full kind of person, which is a terrific quality. 🙂 Hope to hear from you more!
    Our Next Life recently posted…Planning for a Long Life and Planning for the Worst // Our Estate Planning ApproachMy Profile

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Thanks OurNextLife! Being positive takes you a long way and it has helped me greatly at work and in my personal. I also enjoy being surrounding myself other positive people – it’s contagious 😉

  • Nice to meet you! Hopefully we’ll be hearing more from you in the future. It’s always nice to get perspectives from different walks of life. I’m sure you have some insights many of us don’t since you are the first in your family to be raised in the US. Looking forward to hearing more from you!
    The Bearded Dragon recently posted…A Day In The LifeMy Profile

    • Mrs. Even Steven Money
      1 year ago

      Thanks The Bearded Dragon, great to meet you! This was fun, I have never blogged before and it certainly felt nice sharing and getting all these great comments 🙂 Looking forward to sharing more in the future.

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